It's officially gingerbread season! Vegan gingerbread cookies, along with this classic vegan gingerbread house are definitely a staple coming up to the holidays at home.
They are full of warming winter spices that will make your entire house smell like Christmas. Decorate them with vegan royal icing to bring them to life!
🧾 Ingredients Needed
Here's everything you need to make this easy vegan gingerbread cookie recipe from scratch:
- Vegan butter: An important ingredient that gives a buttery flavor to the cookies. It’s important to use vegan block butter here and not margarine, as the water content in margarine is too high.
- Spices: You'll need gingerbread spices including ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and allspice or ground cloves.
- Soft brown sugar: Lends a slight "caramel" flavor and that is perfect for festive cookies like these gingerbread biscuits.
- Molasses: The liquid sweetener for this recipe, helps to brown the cookies as well as give them a soft and chewy consistency on the inside. You can also use black treacle, which has a slightly milder flavor.
- Orange zest. The secret ingredient to making this vegan gingerbread cookie recipe irresistibly good (and literally impossible to stop at eating just one), is the addition of orange zest. It adds a lovely freshness to cookies which compliments the warming spices of ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- You also need aquafaba (chickpea brine), powdered sugar, and orange juice or lemon juice to make the eggless royal icing.
🥣 How To Make Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
These ginger cookies come together in just a few simple steps. The dough can also be prepared a few days ahead and chilled in the fridge until you're ready to bake them.
- Whisk the vegan butter until light and airy. You can use a stand mixer if you have one, or an electric whisk is good too.
- Cream in soft brown sugar, molasses, vanilla extract, and orange zest.
- Knead in the dry ingredients (flour, spices, baking soda, and salt) until they form a dough.
- Roll out the vegan gingerbread cookie dough to approximately a quarter inch in height.
- Cut out the cookies using a gingerbread man cookie cutter.
- Bake the cookies on a lined cookie sheet or baking tray.
- Decorate your gingerbread cookies with vegan royal icing, and melted vegan chocolate if desired. Make sure the cookies are cooled completely before icing.
These cookies will be slightly firm/crunchy once freshly baked and will soften after the first day. They keep in a sealed container for around 2 weeks.
Depending on the consistency you're after, the baking times will vary. Please also bear in mind that after the first day, your cookies will naturally become a little softer as they are exposed to air.
For soft and chewy gingerbread cookies, bake for 10 minutes.
For firm gingerbread cookies, bake for 12 minutes.
For crunchy gingerbread cookies, bake for 14 minutes.
Yes, chill the dough for a minimum of 1-2 hours before baking (more time if you have it). Chilled dough is much easier to roll out, and it gives the ingredients a chance to absorb one another. (ref: The Kitchn)
🎄 More Vegan Christmas Cookies
- 150 g (⅔ cup) vegan block butter, room temperature, cut into small chunks
- 150 g (¾ cup) soft brown sugar
- 100 g (⅓ cup) molasses
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 350 g (2 ¾ cups) plain flour, or all purpose GF for gluten-free option
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice, or ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Royal icing (optional)
- 1 batch vegan royal icing , or half batch if only outlining them
- 40 g vegan chocolate, melted, optional
- Make the cookie dough: Add the butter to a large bowl and use an electric whisk or stand mixer to whisk the butter for 2 minutes. It will become light and airy. Add the soft brown sugar, molasses, orange zest, and vanilla extract and whisk again until combined.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Bring the mixture together with your hands to form a dough consistency. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes, roll the dough into a ball and wrap in cling film or place it in an airtight container. Note: if you find your dough is crumbly, add 1-2 tablespoons of extra molasses or plant-based milk to bring it together.Place in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour (or make ahead and chill overnight). Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F).
- Roll out the cookies: Lightly flour your countertop and roll out the dough to approximately ¼ inch in height. Cut out cookies using a 6.5 x 5.3cm cookie cutter and place them on baking trays lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Bake: Bake for 10 minutes (soft) or up to 14 minutes (crunchy). Allow the cookies to sit on the baking tray to cool for about 5 minutes. Next, carefully slide the sheet of parchment paper with the cookies off of the tray and onto a cooling rack. Cool for another 15-20 minutes until they reach room temperature.
- Make the vegan royal icing.
- Transfer the icing to a piping bag. Snip the very tip of the bag with scissors and start by piping an outline on your cookies. You can get creative with drawing faces and designs on the cookies. If you wish to coat the cookies completely in royal icing you can flood the cookies by continuing to pipe inside the outlines. You can also melt some vegan chocolate and pipe more faces/designs if desired.
- Place the iced cookies back on a cooling rack to allow the icing to dry completely for a minimum of 1-2 hours before storing them in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Storage: These cookies will be slightly firm/crunchy once freshly baked and will soften after the first day. They will last in a sealed container for around 2 weeks.
- Vegan butter: Take this out of the fridge to sit at room temperature for 30 mins to 1 hour. Use vegan block butter NOT spreadable butter from a tub. I use flora plant butter or Violife Block.
- For soft and chewy gingerbread cookies, bake for 10 minutes. For firm gingerbread cookies, bake for 12 minutes. For crunchy gingerbread cookies, bake for 14 minutes.
- For the green icing pictured, simply mix in half a teaspoon of matcha powder for every 3 tablespoons of royal icing.
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*This recipe was originally published in November 2020. The recipe has since been improved and updated to simplify the instructions.